A Theologico-Political Treatise, and a Political Treatise

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Cosimo, Inc., Dec 1, 2005 - Philosophy - 428 pages
If men's minds were as easily controlled as their tongues, every king would sit safely on his throne, and government by compulsion would cease; for every subject would shape his life according to the intentions of his rulers, and would esteem a thing as true or false, good or evil, just or unjust, in obedience with their dictates.-from "That in a Free State Every Man May Thing What He Likes, and Say What He Thinks"An early voice calling for reason as the ruler of the human mind, and a man with, at best, a Deistic outlook on religion, Spinoza is perhaps the first truly modern philosopher. He is certainly the first modern critic of the Bible. His devoted adherents include many great names of 19th-century literature: Goethe, Coleridge, Shelley, and George Eliot were deeply swayed by his writing; in the 20th century, Albert Einstein claimed Spinoza's deterministic outlook as an abiding influence; understanding the writings of all these figures is greatly enhanced by an appreciation of Spinoza. In Theologico-Political Treatise, first published anonymously in 1670, Spinoza rails against religious intolerance and calls for governments to be entirely secular. His Political Treatise, unfinished at his death, was published only posthumously, and deals with democratic government. Dutch philosopher BENEDICT DE SPINOZA (1632-1677), alternately and paradoxically known as "the best Jew" and "the best atheist," is best known for his Ethics.
 

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One quote review. An excerpt from the book: "The affirmations and the negations of 'God' always involve necessity or truth; so that, for example, if God said to Adam that He did not wish him to eat of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - iSatyajeet - LibraryThing

One quote review. An excerpt from the book: "The affirmations and the negations of 'God' always involve necessity or truth; so that, for example, if God said to Adam that He did not wish him to eat of ... Read full review

Contents

OfJPropkecy
13
Chap ILOf Prophets
27
Of the Vocation of the Hebrews and whether
43
Of the Divim Law
57
Of the Ceremonial Law
69
Chap VLOf Miracles
81
Chap VIIOf the Interpretation of Scripture
98
Of the authorship of the Pentateuch and the other
120
It is shown that the Bight over Matters Spirittial lies
245
That in a Free Slate every mm may Think what
257
Aothobs Notes to the Tbbatisb
267
A Political Treatise
279
Extract from the Preface to Opera Posfchnma 281
281
Contents 28
285
Introduction
287
Of Natural Right
291

Chap IX Other questions about these books
133
An Examination of the remaining books of the
146
tion of the New Testament
157
Of the true Original of the Divine Law and where
165
It is shown that Scripture teaches only wry Simple
175
Definitions of Faith the True Faith and
182
Theology is shown not to be subservient to Season
190
Of the Foundations of a State of the Natural
200
till the foundation of the Monarchy and of its Excellence
214
From the Commonwealth of the Hebrews and their
237
Of the Right of Supreme Authorities
301
Of the Functions of Supreme Authorities
309
Of the Best State of a Dominion
313
Of Monarchy 816
317
Of Monarchy Continuation
327
Of Aristocracy
345
Of Aristocracy Continuation
370
Of Aristocracy Conclusion
378
Of Democracy
385
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About the author (2005)

Baruch Spinoza was born in Amsterdam, the son of Portuguese Jewish refugees who had fled from the persecution of the Spanish Inquisition. Although reared in the Jewish community, he rebelled against its religious views and practices, and in 1656 was formally excommunicated from the Portuguese-Spanish Synagogue of Amsterdam and was thus effectively cast out of the Jewish world. He joined a group of nonconfessional Christians (although he never became a Christian), the Collegiants, who professed no creeds or practices but shared a spiritual brotherhood. He was also apparently involved with the Quaker mission in Amsterdam. Spinoza eventually settled in The Hague, where he lived quietly, studying philosophy, science, and theology, discussing his ideas with a small circle of independent thinkers, and earning his living as a lens grinder. He corresponded with some of the leading philosophers and scientists of his time and was visited by Leibniz and many others. He is said to have refused offers to teach at Heidelberg or to be court philosopher for the Prince of Conde. During his lifetime he published only two works, The Principles of Descartes' Philosophy (1666) and the Theological Political Tractatus (1670). In the first his own theory began to emerge as the consistent consequence of that of Descartes (see also Vol. 5). In the second, he gave his reasons for rejecting the claims of religious knowledge and elaborated his theory of the independence of the state from all religious factions. After his death (probably caused by consumption resulting from glass dust), his major work, the Ethics, appeared in his Opera Posthuma, and presented the full metaphysical basis of his pantheistic view. Spinoza's influence on the Enlightenment, on the Romantic Age, and on modern secularism has been tremendous.

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